« הקודםהמשך »
IN THE CHURCH AT ANTIOCH.
pointed by Christ effectual ; and by pouring into the soul of man its own purifying, consoling, peaceful influences, makes us spiritually fit to become for ever the companions of superior beings.
From this general classification of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, or of the Holy Trinity, we proceed to the particulars.
The first is loyos copias, which seems to have been peculiar to the apostles. The word oopia is repeatedly used in the LXX. It corresponds to n'a, Prov. ii. 3. and iii. 5. understanding-to nyi, knowledge, Prov. i. 7. and to noon, wisdom, Isa. xi. 2. where copia is described as one of those gifts of the Spirit which should rest upon Christ. In the enumeration in the passage in Isaiah, are three words, which in various other passages of the LXX. are rendered by copia, noon, nga, nyt, and which are in this place respectively rendered by the LΧΧ. σοφία, σύνεσις, and γνώσις. This circumstance might appear at first sight to destroy the validity of any argument as to the meaning of the word copia from the LXX, if we did not take into consideration the difficulty which the Septuagint translators unavoidably found in discovering a variety of phrases to express the synonymous terms in the Hebrew.
Some further light may be thrown upon the meaning of the word oopía, in this passage, if we consider the use of the word noon, to which it corresponds in Isa. xi. 2.' in the description of the Sephiroth of the Jewish Cabbala (a). The learned Vitringa is of opinion, that the Sephiroth was an emblematical description of the Messiah. Whether this hypothesis be tenable, we cannot now stop to inquire. The first of the ten Sephiroth was the ynd, or crown, which was placed on the head of the personage, whom Vitringa has represented as the emblem of the Messiah. The two next were nnan and 1732, wisdom and prudence, or knowledge.
The word copia is likewise used in the Apocryphal book of “the Wisdom of Solomon,” to express, as Schleusner conjectures, the art of governing : in which sense it is peculiarly applicable to the apostles. Προς υμάς ούν, ώ τύραννοι, οι λόγοι μου, ίνα μάθητε σοφίαν-«Unto you, O rulers, my words are addıessed, that ye may learn wisdom." As the word is used in these various significations, each of them so peculiarly applicable to the powers and gifts with which the apostles were endued, we may conclude that each sense was intended to be combined by the apostle in the passage before us. “The word of wisdom,” therefore, would imply all supernatural intelligence, and the highest endowments of mind, by whatever name they may be distinguished; together with the skill, talent, and power of governing as wise men, the Churches they had already planted. The next gift of the Spirit is yvūous. This is a gift inferior to wisdom (6). It corresponds to
. As it was the gift possessed by the prophets of the New Testament, it must denote the knowledge of future events; and, as they were teachers also, it probably included the learning that was usually acquired by industry, the experience given by time, age, and long intercourse with the world, and other talents, demanded by the circumstances of difficulty or danger in which they were placed. Lord Barrington supposes that these prophets were likewise apostles. It does not appear that his proofs are decisive.
The third gift of the Spirit is aiotu, “ faith," and it was that which was imparted to the dičáokadot, or teachers. The word niotis is too well known to require explanation. In the New Testament it is variously used to denote conviction, firm belief, or unfeigned assent to the truth of Revelation. It denotes also the profession of religion, 1 Cor. ii. 5. xv. 4. 2 Pet. i. 5, &c. &c. and the mass or collected body of truths and doctrines taught by the apostles, Acts vi. 7, &c. 2 Tim. ii. 18. iii. 8. Titus i. 4. 2 Pet. i. 1. Jude 3.
All these we may justly assign to the first teachers of Christianity, who were neither honoured with the apostolic nor prophetic gifts. They would all firmly believe, profess, and practise, the doctrines and the duties of their new religion. The didáokaloi were not endowed with the same degree of inspiration as the prophets.
Nioris, in the LXX, corresponds to the word 10X; see Deut. xxxi. 20. where it is rendered "faith" by our translators. The primary meaning of the word 12x, is "steadiness," or " firmness," " constancy and stability.” God is called, in Isa. lxv. 16. 1ax •nbx, " The God of truth, or faithfulness."
(a) Lib. i. cap cxi. p. 151. 3. 97 coronam sequuntur ordine non et n'a sapientia et intelligentia, quas ad caput referendas esse, res ipsa loquitur. Quis ignorat, binas hasce virtutes Domino nostro Jesu Christo frequenter admodum attribui in Codice sacro? En verba Jesaiæ 7aingan 017 1710 777 7oby ongi et quiescet super ipsum spiritus Jehovæ: spiritus sapientiæ et intelligentiæ. non solet jungi ndoa, vel oman aut nyo, ut et Paulus oogiav kai ¢póvnou aut yvoor sæpe conjungit. Sapientiæ comes est prudentia et circumspectio, qua, secundum sapientiæ regulas per amorem et timorem Dei, reprobatur malum, et eligitur quod optimum est, in bona conscientia. Et alibi 112 est prudentia, ppóvnois. Dexteritas judicandi et eligendi secundum bonam conscientiam. Nam prudentia utitur sapientia év apartois. Hinc junguntur 1793}oan oopia kai ppornois. Prudentiæ mater est sapientia, sapientia est virtus intellectus qua res intelligimus in causis et finibus : prudentia judicii, qua res et actus ad fines illis convenientes disponimus, et dirigimus.-Vitringæ Dissert, secunda de Sephiroth Cabbalistarum. Observ. Sacr. lib. i. cap. iii. vol. i. p. 151, 152. See also Burnet's Archæologiæ Philos. p. 48. (6) Etymol. ined. ap. Schleusner, Lexicon in LXX-γνώσις σοφίας διαφέρεται. γνώσις μέν έστι το είδέναι τα όντα σοφία δε και το τα όντα γινώσκειν, και το την των αντιπιπτόντων λύσιν επίστασθαι.
SPIRITUAL GIFTS, TITLES, AND OFFICES
Another meaning is given to the word 11x, in Nehem. ix. 38. (c), where it seems to signify “a sure or firm treaty.” The Septuagint translates the phrase datidézeta nioti. Our translators render the word napx, adjectively. Their version of the passage is, “we make a sure covenant." In the book of Ecclesiasticus we meet with riotis, in the same sense in which it is used in the New Testament, chap. i. 33. xl. 12, &c. &c. In these senses the word may be considered applicable to the passage before us. It was necessary that the teachers of the new religion should have “ stability and constancy,” as well as belief and purity; neither was it less pecessary that they should enter into covenant with God, in consideration of the fulfilment of his promises in Christ; as the legislator of Israel had done, when he had recapitulated the mercies of God to himself, his people, and their common ancestors.
The fourth of these sacred gifts requires no discussion : the gift of healing was the power of curing diseases ; the most common, though at the same time not the least wonderful of these mighty powers. Some confusion has been occasioned by the word duvápels, which is used in two different senses, in ver 28. and 29. But on referring to the Septuagint, it will be seen that the word is there used in the same manner. It corresponds to no, strength, power, &c. 1 Paral. xxix. 2. 2 Par. xxii. 9. and Esther ii. 18. to nay, “a servant." The persons invited by the king of Persia to his banquet, mentioned in this passage, were the great officers of his court; his higher and confidential servants. The officers of the Christian Church were peculiarly honoured, and received the same appellation which designated the companions of a sovereign.
The fifth is evidently transposed in the three lists. The word évépynua does not occur in the LXX, though it is found in Ecclus. xvi. 16. as we have observed. It seems to refer to the highest possible enlargement of the natural faculties, by which the teachers of Christianity were enabled to perforın wonderful cures. They were supernaturally instructed, perhaps, to anticipate the knowledge and discoveries of a future age; and to effect likewise wonderful healings of diseases, by an agency superior to any efforts of medical science, past, present, or future.
In the next division of the miraculous gifts, "prophecy," ttpoonteia, and "the discerning of spirits,” are classed together with 'AvrilÝÞES, “helps," and Kußepvhosts, " governments ;"! which titles are equivalent, according to the arrangement in the third list, with lúooais daloŪVTES, "speakers of tongues." This division, as we may judge from the order, which has hitherto proceeded regularly from the apostles to the lower gradations of the ministry, and the inferior gifts imparted to them, ought to signify something inferior to the gifts and titles which have been already enumerated. If we may, as we propose, fix the meaning of these much controverted words from the LXX, we shall find this opinion most singularly confirmed. The word apoonteia is used in the LXX. for the Hebrew pun, “vision,” or “ecstasy," 2 Paral. xxii. 32. Dan. xi. 14. which was a lower degree of inspiration than that which was given to Moses, who talked with the Divine Leader of Israel" face to face ;” and consequently lower than was imparted to the apostles, who were honoured in the same manner by the Sacred Oracle hinself (d). Lord Barrington's opinion, therefore, though derived from other considerations, that a lower degree of prophecy is here under. stood, appears to be correct; as is likewise his additional remark, that in the word prophecy must be included the gift of teaching. As a necessary consequence, or as the inseparable attendant of this gift, was the power of discerning of spirits; which was the talent or faculty of discerning both the truth and certainty of what was spoken by other prophets, and likewise of ascertaining the thoughts and secrets of the hearts of those who might enter the Christian assemblies, and consequently of knowing the precise mode of teaching which their circumstances might demand.
The persons who possessed these lesser gifts of prophecy, and knowledge of the thoughts of men, are called 'Avrinters, and kubepvýcars. The first of which answers to 1970, " help,” Ps. xxi. 19. (ap. LXX,) and xxii. 19. of the English version.
“ The word außepvoels,” says Lightfoot, " is used by the LXX. to translate nibann (Prov. i. 5. xi. 14. xx. 18. and xxiv. 6.), which word imports not the act, but the ability to govern; and the words ávtinters and subepvroers, in 1 Cor. xii. 28, 29, 30. imply helps to interpret the languages, and sense of those who spake with tongues (e).”
The speaking with tongues was the gift more commonly imparted than any other, as we read in the narrative of the conversion of Cornelius and his household. It was therefore of inferior estimation to those which were more rare. This consideration harmonizes with the rest of this perplexing division both of the miraculous gifts, and of those on whom they were conferred. The speakers with tongues were the assistants to the higher ministers, and were often of inferior degree; they
(c) In Arias Montanus' Bible, in the Septuagint, and in our own Bibles, this passage is chap. ix. ver. 38. But in Bagster's small Hebrew Bibles it is Nehem. x. ver. 1. (d) Alter Revelationis modus est,-quo vigilantes rapiuntur in ecstasin, cessante ad tempus usu sensoriorum exterorum, dum a Spiritu divino, aut Angelo Dei jussu imaginationi exhibentur et alte infiguntur imagines quædam, sive figuræ rerum mysticæ et propheticæ; aut Deus ipse, vel angelus, verba veluti cum iis faciens, eos de præsentibus aut futuris edocet. Hâc specie Deus se præcipue prophetis, certe illustrioribus, manifestum fecit, diciturque ea stylo Scripturæ V. T. 11117 visio úvokályvis.- Vitringa, Observ. Sacræ, lib. vii. cap. p. 7. (e) Life of Lightfoot, by Strype. The Assembly of Divines wished to justify the lay eldership of the Presbyterians from the word Kubepvnaeis, in this passage, which Lightfoot answered by the above criticism.
IN THE CHURCH OF ANTIOCH.
possessed the ability to govern, and were thus prepared for the higher offices in the Church ; they received the lower gift of prophecy, and the discerning of spirits.
The last of these miraculous gifts requires no discussion. It appears to refer to a further division, of a still lower and inferior miraculous endowment. The converts who were baptized with Cornelius spake with tongues. I should conclude, from this division of the miraculous gifts, not that every convert was able to speak every known language, but only a certain number: and, with respect to the interpreters here mentioned, we may conclude that they were persons who repeated to some of the people in their own language, those addresses of the prophets which were spoken to another portion of the congregation, in their native tongue. As the Jews were every where dispersed, the congregations of the primitive Christians must have generally consisted of the Israelites who spake the Aramaic or Syriac dialects, and of the natives of the countries where they sojourned. In commercial towns there would he frequently assemblies, composed of strangers from the most opposite quarters of the world, to whom these divisions of the miraculous gifts would be the most convincing of all arguments.
Whatever might have been the nature of the miraculous gifts which were imparted by the Spirit of God to the first teachers of the Gospel, it is certain they were all subject to the apostles, and the apostles to each other, in council. Their powers were not derived from the people, though they were imparted for the instruction of the poorest, and meanest, and most despised among them. They were accountable to God and to his apostles. The caprice of the multitude was not their rule of action ; and while they sedulously laboured for the common benefit, they never derived their doctrines from those whom they were ordained to superintend and teach ; nor did they allow their separate congregations to dictate to them as to the doctrines they were to inculcate.
The flocks did not then choose their shepherds ; the children did not ordain their spiritual fathers. Free from all inferior motives, unambitious of honour and popularity, careless of wealth, undaunted by persecution, unsubdued by danger and difficulty, the first teachers of the Gospel regarded with equal affection the favour or the hatred of the rich or poor. Bold, zealous, firin, and holy, their lips preserved knowledge, and the people learned the law from their mouth. Happy is that Church whose clergy are thus devoted to the service of the people committed to their charge—who are faithful in the discharge of their sacred duties, “ not with eye-service, as men pleasers, but with singleness of heart, as unto God.”
Such were the gifts, titles, and offices, by which the Christian Church was now united. It formed, at this time, wherever it was dispersed, one large society. The persons who presided over it (and no society can exist without some order or form of government), derived their authority not from the people, but from God. These divinely-appointed heads in process of time ordained fit persons, who were generally known to and approved by the people among whom they lived, to the office of teacher. If these teachers deviated from the form of sound words and the apostolic doctrine, they were responsible to the authority which had empowered and commissioned them to teach: and the apostles themselves, as in the instance of St. Peter, were controlled by their equals in power. Christ was the invisible head of the Church, and the supremacy of Peter, or of Rome, was unknown; all was rightly and efficiently organized for the building up in this evil world the outward and visible Church of Christ, by which the invisible and the spiritual Church, as in the days of Noah, might be conducted safely to the kingdom of Christ and God. Wicked and inconsistent Christians, as we learn from the Epistles, were members of the visible Church even in the apostolic age- it is so at present. God alone can separate the good from the bad at the last. It is our duty, while we are in the body, to continue to build up the visible Church; to establish and to insist upon external religion, the means of grace, the right administration of the sacraments, the purity, honour, and independence of the Christian priesthood; and to maintain, “in spite of scorn," its scriptural government in the world. Thus by obedience to the example of the apostles of God, we may bring many millions of our forsaken brethren of mankind, from among every nation under heaven, within the visible Church on earth, and lead them by the power of the Spirit of God to the spiritual Church above (f).
Lord Barrington's Miscellanea Sacra, vol. i. p. 166, 167. This treatise is one of the tracts in the collection of Bishop Watson.--Hales's Analysis of Chronology, vol. ii. part ii. p. 968.-Doddridge's Family Expositor, vol. iv. p. 67.-Morgan's Platform of the Christian Church.
ST. PAUL PROCEEDS TO DERBE AND LYSTRA.
V. Æ. 50.
St. Paul's Second Apostolical Journey. $1. After remaining some time at Antioch, St. Paul proposes to Barnabas to commence another visitation of the Churches.
ACTS XV. 36. J. P. 4763.
And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do'. 92. St. Paul, separating from Barnabas, proceeds from Antioch to
Syria and Cilicia.
ACTS xv. 37, to the end. xvi. 4, 5. Syria and
And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose 37 surname was Mark. But Paul thought not good to take him 38 with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. And the contention was so sharp 39 between them, that they departed asunder one from the other : and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; and 40 Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God. And he went through Syria 41 and Cilicia', confirming the churches. And as they went 4
through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, a.ch. xv. 28, a that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at
Jerusalem. · And so were the churches established in the faith, 5
ACTS xvi. 1, 2, 3. Then came he to Derbe and Lystra : and, behold, a certain i b Rom. xvi. disciple was there, "named Timotheus, the son of a certain
woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was
I The principal reason which prompted St. Paul to commence his second apostolical journey at this time, was probably his learning that the Churches in the provinces were divided in opinion; and that the harmony of the infant Church was disturbed on account of the controversies on the subject of conformity to the Mosaic law. They were anxious to ascertain, tūs éxovot quomodo se habeant; an constantes sint in profitenda doctrina ?
2 Their dispute about John Mark, is a proof of human infirmity, which cannot be justified, though it admits of extenuation. There was some breach of charity between them ; on one side it may be said that Paul's zeal carried him too far, and on the other that Barnabas was too indulgent to his kinsman-- ο Παύλος εζήτει το δίκαιον, ο Βαρνάβας το φιλάνθρωπον. This rupture, however, did not end in hatred, as appears from the manner in which Barnabas is mentioned by Paul in his Epistles. Barnabas went to Cyprus, and Paul into Syria and Cilicia.-Witsius, Meletem. Leidens. de Vit. Pauli, cap. iv. sect. 15.
3 It is probable that St. Paul went from Cilicia to Crete ; and, having preached there, left Titus to complete his work, and to ordain elders.-See Witsius, Meletem. Leidens. de Vit. Pauli, cap. v.
The fourth and fifth verses of chap. xvi. are added to the end of chap. xv. on the authority of Lord Barrington, whose opinion is advocated by Dr. Paley and Dr. Clarke. See Miscellanea Sacra, Paley's Horæ Paulinæ, and Dr. Clarke's Commentary.
ST. PAUL PROCEEDS TO SAMOTIT RACIA.
2 a Greek : which was well reported of by the brethren that were
J. P. 4763 3 at Lystra and Iconium. Him would Paul have to go forth with
V. Æ. 50. him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which Derbe and
Lystra. were in those quarters $: for they knew all that his father was a Greek. 4. They proceed from Iconium to Phrygia and Galatia.
ACTS xvi. 6. Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region Phrygia and of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia. $ 5. From Galatia to Mysia, and Troas.
ACTS xvi. 7-11. 7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bi- Mysia and 8 thynia : but the Spirit
suffered them not. And they passing by 9 Mysia came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in
the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, 10 saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. And after he
had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the Gospel unto them.
$ 6. From Troas to Samothracia.
ACTS xvi. former part of ver. 11. Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course Samothracia. to Samothracia.
In order to judge rightly of Paul's conduct in this affair, which some have censured (as they do other things in Christianity), because they did not understand it, we must recollect that he always openly avowed, "that the Gentiles were free from the yoke of the Mosaic ceremonies, and that the Jews were not to accept salvation by them" and he also taught, that they were not in conscience obliged to observe them at all, except in cases where an omission of them would give offence. But because his enemies represented him as teaching people to despise the law of Moses, and even as blaspheming it, he therefore took some opportunities of conforming to it publicly himself, to show how far he was from condemning it as evil; an extravagance into which some Christian heretics early ran. And though, when the Jewish zealots would have imposed upon him, to compel Titus, who was a Greek, to be circumcised, even while he was at Jerusalem, he resolutely refused it (Gal. ii. 3—5.), yet here he voluntarily persuaded Timothy to submit to that rite, knowing the omission of it in him, who was a Jew by the mother's side, would have given offence; and being the more desirous to obviate any prejudices against this excellent youth, whose early acquaintance with the Scriptures of the Old Testament (2 Tim. iii. 15.) might render him peculiarly capable of preaching in the synagogues with advantage ; which, had he been uncircumcised, would not have been permitted Grotius observes, “ This was probably the beginning of Luke's acquaintance with Timothy, though Paul knew him long before."--See Doddridge's Family Expositor, in loc.
• Much service would be rendered to the world by any student who would write a history of Samothrace. This island was the earliest European seat of the ancient idolatry which overspread Europe from India, Canaan, and Egypt. Mr. Faber has prepared the way for the successful prosecution of all researches of this nature. I have not the means of ascertaining what progress has been made of late years in those branches of knowledge, which were so successfully cultivated by Sir William Jones, and various members of the Society over which he presided. It is, however, to be hoped, that great additions will eventually be made to our present information on the early history of the world, from the Sanscrit records.